January 29, 2009
The BBC and Sky TV are continuing to hold the line that broadcasting a humanitarian appeal for aid to help rebuild the Gaza Strip would compromise their journalistic credibility and their ability to objectively report on the Middle East conflict.
Overnight (Kiwi time) a group of protestors staged a sit-in at the BBC HQ in London and burned their TV licences. Meanwhile a group of British MPs is backing a motion in the House of Commons that would attempt to force the BBC to broadcast the appeal.
Meanwhile the appeal has already raised in the vicinity of $NZ 1.6 million.
The refusal of Sky to broadcast the appeal makes some sense, it is, after all, owned by Rupert Murdoch who is very pro-Israel and regularly feted by the Zionist lobby in the USA. Sky, like Fox in the US, is still neo-con in outlook and would never compromise Murdoch’s links with Israel.
However, the BBC case is more nuanced and I’m still struggling with the issue of credibility and compromise.
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July 4, 2007
BBC correspondent Alan Johnston is freed by his captors and handed over to Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip after almost four months in captivity. Wednesday, 4 July 2007, 02:26 GMT 03:26 UK
Congratulations to Alan and all of his family, friends and supporters worldwide.
The BBC website is the best place to find out more. There’s a very scratchy audio interview with Alan and more pictures.
June 18, 2007
It’s now 14 weeks since BBC correspondent Alan Johnston was kidnapped in Gaza. Given the events of the past week in which it seems Hamas has effectively destroyed the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah faction, it is a dangerous time for Johnston.
Hamas has apparently sent a message to the kidnappers demanding Johnston’s release. You can keep up with the story by clicking on the picture of Alan on the right of the page.
May 11, 2007
BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | BBC’s Johnston wins press award
Congratulations Alan. We all hope that you can come home to enjoy this win.
Apparently Al Jazeera has a video sent by Johnston’s captors, but it contains no new images of him, only a shot of his BBC identity card. The tape was sent by a group calling itself Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam). I have not been able to find a copy of the footage to link to.
May 4, 2007
Palestinians know whereabouts of kidnapped BBC man: Abbas. 03/05/2007. ABC News Online
Agence France Press reported this week that kidnapped BBC reporter Alan Johnston is being held in Gaza and that the Palestinian authorities know where he is. Apparently they haven’t launched a rescue operation because they are worried he’ll be killed.
There’s been no official or verifiable information about Alan since it was reported in mid-April that he was being held, or had already been killed by a little-known group called Tawheed & Jihad.
April 25, 2007
Livingstone urges Johnston’s release: MediaGuardian.co.uk
The mayor of London, “Red” Ken Livingstone provided the latest call for the release of Alan Johnston when speaking on the Arabic-language al Hiwar television network.
There is still no word on Johnston’s fate since a previously nknown group callling itself Tahweed and Jihad brigade said they had killed him a week ago.
April 21, 2007
The global media watchdog group, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on the Palestinian Authority to pressure those holding BBC reporter Alan Johnston to provide evidence that he is still alive.
A few days ago the previously unknown group, the Tawhid and Jihad Brigades, said they had killed Alan, but later Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said he had evidence that Johnston was still alive.
On the 40th day since BBC correspondent Alan Johnston’s abduction in Gaza, Reporters Without Borders today called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to urge his kidnappers to produce evidence that he is still alive.
“We continue to be worried about Johnston’s fate and we call on President Abbas and Prime Minister Haniyeh to coordinate their efforts to obtain his release as soon as possible,” the press freedom organisation said.
April 17, 2007
There is still no confirmation of the fate of Alan Johnston despite Sunday’s announcement by a previously unknown group that it had killed the British journalist.
The BBC continues to report on the situtation, saying his family is very worried by the lack of firm news. Journalists and supporters have rallied around the world calling for Alan’s release. The BBC itself organised rallies across the UK
I can’t help wondering why, with all the sophisticated surveillance technologies at their disposal why the Israeli secret service or the CIA, or MI5 have not been able to locate Alan or his kidnappers.
Why would an Islamic or Palestinian group want to kidnap a BBC journalist? I’m worried that this story doesn’t make sense, but I have nothing to support my unease.
I’m going to keep looking.
April 16, 2007
The BBC is reporting that a Palestinian group calling itself the Al Tawhid Al Jihad brigade is claiming to have killed Alan Johnston. Johnston, the BBC’s Gaza correspondent was abducted on 12 March.
There is no independent confirmation of the statement by the group claiming to have been holding the reporter.